Tuesday, May 4, 2010

KC residents fight for more compliance

Kansas City residents with disabilities have grown increasingly dissatisfied with what they consider the city's noncompliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Kansas City Star reported Monday that among their complaints is an apparent absence of a “transition plan” that the city's required to have to address accessibility to public facilities and infrastructure.

Tory Schulte, acting city manager, concedes the city currently doesn't have that transition plan, which has been required since the ADA was passed in 1990. Schulte said he takes the lack of a plan seriously. The city risks a Justice Department lawsuit if it doesn't make a good-faith effort.

“If we're 15 years behind in submitting a transition plan, the fault is on us and we've got to fix it,” Schulte said.

Schulte and Public Works Director Stan Harris said there's a May 12 directors meeting to work on a plan and that the first step will be to hear from residents with disabilities.

Residents cite other issues, including that only 11 of Kansas City's 580 traffic signals have audible pedestrian warnings, there are problems with bus stops and curb ramps, the city government's cable television station doesn't have closed captioning, and the city's website isn't accessible to the blind.


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